Popular culture is a term which describes how people in a society live. As time elapses, popular culture keeps on evolving and a society's values will consistently transform. In 1719 during the post-revolution, famous English novelist Daniel Defoe composed the well-received novel "The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe." Remaining a popular adventure narrative, around three hundred years later, Robert Zemeckis directed the modern mainstream film "Cast Away", a popular culture appropriation of Robinson Crusoe which entertains as well as powerfully reflecting the values and attitudes of the twentieth century responders.
Although composed more three hundred years apart, both texts aims at mature audiences with concerns for the concept of journeys. However, the difference is that in both of the texts, other concepts besides journeys had been supplemented, shaped and explored due to the different contexts from post-revolution to the age of American self-independence. The book tend to be aimed at readers with an interest in the religious inner journey of repentance and the physically journey of traveling and trades, whereas Cast Away is aimed basically all audiences as its element of physical journey is not as strong as the book and the protagonist had been made into a more realistic "everyman."
When Daniel Defoe wrote Robinson Crusoe, it was the beginning of the sixteenth century which witnessed many historical disasters such as the London fire and some great changes in economic order. There were a rise in capitalism which caused an individual's place in society being determined based not on their family rank but their own work. During this time, romantic love was secondary to economic gain. The century...
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... film and possibly implies that their love will last forever, just like how time will never stop flowing. Another symbolism used may be that of the four roads Noland was driving on in the beginning and ending scene. This repetition of the four roads forms a cycle and underlines a conformity about life - history repeats itself.
Resonating upon the old, the film Cast Away has successfully transformed Robinson Crusoe with a different set of contemporary values and attitudes which reflects the society of the later 1990s through its characterization, intertextuality and various other visual and aural techniques. Not only this, Cast Away also provides audience a dramatic entertainment with perhaps some moral lessons such as courage and survival to ponder about. At the same time, it had skillfully challenged some modern issues on the society and American individuals.
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